Teaching Children about Dental Hygiene

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Dental hygiene is an essential part of life. Maintaining good oral health will help to ensure good overall health. Dental hygiene must be a part of everyone’s daily routine. Starting children out by teaching them good oral hygiene habits will help them keep their teeth and mouth healthy throughout their lifetime. Good oral health isn’t simply about brushing teeth, although brushing certainly plays an important part. Children of almost every age can be taught the basics of good oral hygiene.

Brushing

Brushing the teeth is the most important aspect of maintaining good oral hygiene. Some parents mistakenly think that because a child still has their baby teeth, they don’t need to be concerned with their child’s dental hygiene. Actually, baby teeth become dirty and can have cavities. This can lead to poor gum health, even in young children. As soon as teeth come in, adults need to start brushing them. For very small children, use a finger brush to gently stroke the teeth. As children become old enough to brush for themselves, they should be given a children’s toothbrush and must be shown how to brush properly. Adults should assist in brushing teeth and must monitor them to ensure they are brushing properly.

Rinsing

Mouth rinsing is a good way to remove excess food particles and debris from the mouth. Specially designed children’s mouth rinses are designed in various flavors that are appealing to children. Using a strong mouthwash is not recommended for children. It is important to teach kids to rinse and spit, rather than swallow the liquid. If a special rinse isn’t available, regular water can be used. Rinses also perform another important function – they provide fluoride. Fluoride is a substance that is necessary for good tooth development. When providing drinking water for children, you should make sure that it is fluoridated. Many popular bottled water brands now offer fluoridated choices.

Toothpaste

Toothpaste is used to help remove plaque and to clean the teeth. Children should use toothpaste made specifically for kids. Children’s toothpaste is available in different flavors and is non-toxic if it is accidentally swallowed. Children don’t need to worry about whitening, and, in fact, should avoid using these types of harsh adult toothpastes. When brushing, add a small amount of toothpaste to the top of the brush. If necessary, use another dab of toothpaste halfway through the brushing process.

Tips for Children

Brushing the teeth is often a chore that children want to avoid. It’s best to try to make brushing a fun process. Teeth should be brushed for no less than about two minutes – you can use a timer. As children get older, you’ll want to add flossing to the daily oral hygiene habit. Regular visits to the dentist should begin as soon as a child starts to get teeth. This will help children get used to visiting the dentist so they won’t be afraid. Make sure that dental care is part of every child’s regular daily routine and they will keep their teeth and gums healthy for a lifetime.

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